Lodging in Big Sur

Cabins on the River

Big Sur Hiking Info

  • Big Sur Guides- Guided hikes in the Big Sur area. A great introduction to hikes in the area by experienced local guides.
  • Every Trail- Maps and information about hikes in Big Sur











The Big Sur Coast-

The Spanish settlers named the land to the south of Monterey, “El pais grande del sur” (the big country of the south) which over time was shortened to Big Sur.

This picturesque stretch of coastline, 90 miles between Carmel and San Simeon, was inhabited for thousands of years by three indigenous tribes of hunter-gatherers, the Esselen, Ohlone (Rumsian), and Salinan.

In 1769, the southern region of the Big Sur coast was the first recorded visit by Europeans in this area. The Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolà and his expedition, which incuded Father Junipero Serra, and Father Miguel Campa were making their way up the coast from San Diego with the intent to travel to Monterey. Finding the coastal areas to be too rugged for travel by foot, Portolà’s expedition chose to continue their journey inland and northward. This decision ultimately resulted in the group’s passing by their intended destination of Monterey, and eventually arriving in San Francisco on October 31st.
It was not until a year later on May 24, 1770 that Father Junipero Serra and Gaspar de Portola, in a joint land and sea venture, arrived in Monterey.

There are many great places to explore while in Big Sur, and many of the notable points of interest in this area are named after the families who settled here in the 1800’s.

California became part of Mexico when it gained independence from Spain in 1821. Land grants were issued by Mexico for folks who wanted to settle this area. The oldest surviving structure in Big Sur, the Cooper Homestead Cabin, was built in 1861, and can be seen in Andrew Molera State Park.

More information about the history of Big Sur:

Suggested books to read about Big Sur:

Big Sur: Images of America, Jeff Norman, Big Sur Historical Society, Arcadia Publishing (2004), 128 pages, ISBN 0-7385-2913-3

The Natural History of Big Sur, Paul Henson and Donald J. Usner, University of California Press (1993), 416 pages, ISBN 0-520-20510-3


What to See
  • Condors!- See the majestic condors return to the wild
  • McWay Falls- The only waterfall that falls directly into the ocean in California










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Ripplewood Resort, 47047 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920